Comparison is natural, but if not reigned in, it can become an obsession. And that’s never a good thing. But how can you stop comparing yourself to others?
If you’ve struggled with this, you’re not alone. Fortunately, once you learn how to stop comparing yourself to others, it becomes a non-issue.
So today, I want to share a few ways to overcome comparison that have worked wonders for me personally. Whether you’re struggling with comparing yourself to others on social media, at work or within your friends and family, these tips can help.
But first, let’s talk about why it’s bad to compare your life and success to others in the first place.
What Happens When You Compare Yourself to Others
In the modern world, it is easy to see what others are up to. Thanks to social media, we have constant access to the lives of our friends, family, and picture-perfect celebrities.
This all-access pass parades their successes before our eyes. It’s easy to wish for the life you see on the screen and compare it to your own. It makes it really hard to stop comparing yourself to others.
But wishing for the life you see on the screen is unhealthy because it’s unrealistic. You see all the successes but none of the failures. All the highs but none of the lows.
To put it bluntly, it’s not real “life.” Comparing yourself to an unreality is a recipe for discouragement.
When you compare yourself to others, it can have a negative effect on your self-esteem. Comparing yourself to someone you think is doing better than you can cause you to beat yourself up, judge yourself, or feel bad about yourself. It’s never a good idea to compare yourself to others.
The effects of comparing yourself to others can also cause you to lose focus and can disrupt the progress you are making towards being a better you. Don’t distract yourself by constantly comparing your success to the success of others.
12 Realistic Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
I learned to stop comparing myself to others by focusing my time and energy on a few key areas.
I thought I’d share a few of them with you today in hopes that they can help you stop comparing yourself to others, too.
1. Realize Social Media is a Lie
Wondering how to stop comparing yourself to others on social media? The first thing you have to do is to realize that the lives you see on social media are not accurate.
Social comparison is a true prison.
When people post on social media, they are only showing you the best parts of their day. They curate an image that they want you to believe.
Social media does not show you the struggles and hardships that those people go through. They do not post selfies on their bad days.
Understanding this can make it easier to shut off the voice in our head that says, “Why am I not where they are in life?”
2. Focus on You-Based Goal Setting
Too often, we think about what we want to do in life based on the success of others. To counteract this thought and stop comparing yourself to others, it is important to redefine our goals.
Instead of setting goals that work to obtain what you see others do, set goals to improve on your previous challenges and successes.
Your goals should be about seeing steady improvement in yourself, not about reaching the level that someone else is at.
When you set your goals around your own improvement, you will be less likely to care what others are doing.
While you work hard to reach your goals, you will have no time to keep comparing yourself to others.
3. Work on Your Gratitude Journal
Honestly, it is quite natural to compare what you have to what others have. It’s one of the reasons it’s often so hard to stop comparing yourself to others.
But it’s also why it is so important to actively work against the voice in your head that keeps telling you that you are not enough.
One of the best ways to counteract the need to compare is to keep a gratitude journal.
A gratitude journal can be any notebook you have. Every morning when you wake up, think about the things that you are grateful for in your life and write them down in your journal.
When you feel the need to compare yourself to someone else, go back and read what you wrote in your journal.
You will be so overwhelmed with gratitude and joy from all of the things you wrote that you will no longer feel the need to compare yourself to others.
Practicing daily gratitude will help make you feel more fulfilled in your life. Journaling will make you thankful for all that you have and all that you are. Focusing on what you already have, can help you stop comparing yourself to others.
4. Be Your Own Competitor
I’ve heard many people use the quote, “my biggest competitor is myself.” The idea here is to compete with your own personal best – not with others. Every day, you should be in a competition to be better than you were the day before. Don’t fall prey to what others appear to be doing and definitely don’t pay attention to how fast they are doing it. One thing for certain is that you don’t get to see the behind-the-scenes work that’s going on with people. You also don’t know the sacrifices they have made to accomplish what they’ve accomplished.
5. Learn to Recognize the Voice of Your Inner Critic (& Defeat It)
Why are we so hard on ourselves? The negative self-talk that sometimes clouds our minds is often detrimental to our progress. Instead of finding a way to overcome obstacles or barriers that come our way, we tell ourselves that we can’t do things. Sometimes, we don’t even start things because we allow negative thoughts to get in the way.
One way to overcome those negative thoughts when comparing yourself with others is to learn to recognize them. Once you recognize that your inner voice is being overly critical, stop! Be intentional about recognizing that inner voice and finding ways to defeat it.
One suggestion is to repeat positive affirmations and maybe even write them down so that you have a point of reference when you need some extra support.
6. Recognize, Then Focus on Your Strengths
Every person on Earth has strengths. It’s so important for you to recognize your strengths and find ways to use your strengths in the best way possible. Learn to accept yourself the way you are and be proud of the gifts and talents you were born with.
By focusing on what you do really well, you may find it easier to stop comparing yourself to others and start appreciating your own gifts.
7. Practice Healthy Self-Care
Self-care is a great way to stop comparing yourself to others. If you busy yourself with taking care of your own needs, you have less time to compare yourself to others. There are so many activities that you can do for self-care, even if you don’t have a lot of time. Read my suggestions for 15-minute self-care activities that work for even the busiest person.
8. Turn Comparison into Inspiration
Don’t get me wrong. I know how hard it is to block out the noise! Everywhere you look, you see other people and their fabulous lives. You see people getting new jobs, new houses, starting new businesses and reaching goals. How can you not compare yourself to others? Sheesh.
Let me give you another perspective. Instead of comparing yourself to other people, how about using their accomplishments as inspiration? Adopt the attitude of, “If he/she did this/that, then I can do it, too!”
9. Celebrate Your Looks and Body as Being Uniquely You
If you’re wondering how to stop comparing your looks to others, this is where it starts. We’ve talked about comparing your achievements and accomplishments to other people, but we can’t leave out comparing your physical appearance to that of others. This is a dangerous habit that can lead to some very serious consequences.
Comparing yourself to others physically is a little silly if you stop to think about it (even though we’ve all done it). We are all uniquely made and should learn to appreciate and celebrate our looks and be proud to be different!
We should also be mindful when we make comments about other people’s appearance. It’s unnecessary, hurtful, and damaging.
10. Let Go of the Past and Focus on the Future
Sometimes, holding on to the past is a reason that we compare ourselves to others. When we get sidetracked from goals that we are working on due to obstacles in life, it’s easy to beat ourselves up for not reaching the goal. We have to learn to leave those things in the past. We have to forgive ourselves and let go of past failures so that we can move forward.
Not only do we have to release ourselves from the hurt and disappointment that comes with not reaching a goal, we also have to let go of past relationships that may be negatively affecting our ability to move forward.
When you can let go of past hurts or disappointments, it becomes a lot easier to feel content with your life and stop comparing yourself to others.
11. Celebrate Other’s Achievements & Realize They Don’t Undermine Your Own
There’s something about seeing other people succeed that gets me excited! It motivates me to work harder to achieve my goals. Celebrating others’ achievements does not undermine your own achievements. Make an intentional effort to celebrate and support others when they achieve success.
12. Remember You Get to Decide How Your Story Ends
The final tip? Just stop comparing yourself to others. It’s important to remember that you get to decide how your story ends. There is absolutely no reason to compare your life to others. Everyone has a unique path and no path is better than another.
When you find yourself making comparisons or having negative thoughts about yourself or your life in relation to others, just stop those thoughts in their tracks. You’ve got way better things to do with your time than worrying about how you measure up.
You Can Overcome and Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
These are just a handful of ways that you can use to stop comparing yourself to others.
Don’t get drawn into the highlight reel that you see on social media.
I can guarantee you that what you see on social media is an illusion. No one’s life is perfect.
Once you realize that social media can be deceptive, you work on setting your own goals, and you commit yourself to your gratitude journal, you can stop the comparison game that can be so damaging.
Here are some other great resources to help you stop comparing yourself to others:
- How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others – Break the habit of feeling insecure, envious, and discontented with your life. (psychologytoday.com)
- How a Life Coach Taught Me to Stop Comparing Myself to Others – My friends were like a mirror. All I could see were my shortcomings staring back at me. (healthline.com)
- How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others – Comparisons steal our joy, our paychecks and our sanity. Learn how to stop comparing yourself to others and focus on your own life. (ramseysolutions.com)
- How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others With 10 Realistic Tips – When you learn how to stop comparing yourself to others, you build your self-esteem and also take care of your mental health. Here are 10 strategies to try. (divethru.com)
- How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others – Comparing yourself to others doesn’t help to create the life you want. Here are five healthy ways to end the jealousy game and take your power back. (forbes.com)